One of HelpMeSee’s first partner surgeons, Dr. Bidya Prasad Pant has built a long and successful career working to eradicate blindness. From Geta Eye Hospital in Nepal, where it’s estimated he has performed over 100,000 eye surgeries, and now working with his team in Myanmar he has built a strong reputation as a leading surgeon. So it’s little surprise that Dr. Bidya Pant was recently named an “Eye Health Hero” by the IAPB.
Dr. Pant in Nepal
When he started his career as a medical technician, Bidya noticed there were no doctors in Nepal available to perform cataract surgery between missions from touring doctors who visited his hospital. One day he saw a blind man turned away from the hospital because no surgeons were available who could treat his cataracts. That day Bidya decided to become trained as an eye surgeon, studying cataract and corneal blindness “because that is the leading cause of avoidable blindness in my region.” Dr. Bidya Pant returned to Geta Eye Hospital, serving as its director starting in 2004, where he helped train more surgeons who increased the hospital's rate to around 50,000 eye surgeries each year.
Beginning in December 2011, HelpMeSee started working together with Dr. Pant, who led a team of cataract specialists. To date Geta Eye Hospital has performed a staggering 61,570 cataract surgeries with support from HelpMeSee, yet thousands more in Nepal are still in need of treatment.
In 2016, he assisted HelpMeSee established a cataract campaign in Myanmar. Working together with our partner hospital Sitagu Monastery, HelpMeSee's partner surgeons have since completed 3,589 sight-restoring surgeries. For his own contributions in Myanmar, Dr. Pant was recognised by the British Medical Journal’s South Asia branch with the Surgical Team of the Year award. More recently, Dr. Pant has taken on a new challenge, leading a team of surgeons at Tipitaka Chalupala Eye Hospital in Myanmar fighting against eye diseases.
Dr. Pant IAPB award
Dr. Pant accepts the Eye Health Hero award at the IAPB's annual meeting in 2017. (Photo c/o IAPB under CC by-NC-SA 2.0 license).
Speaking about his passion for fighting blindness, Dr. Pant said “By restoring sight, we are bringing hope to families. Cataract surgery is the most rewarding because there are immediate results. Now this person can be a contributing member of their family.
He added, “I am proud to be a partner with HelpMeSee because our aims are the same – we want to reach the un-reached people in remote areas and eradicate cataract blindness.
Dr. Pant at MSICS conference
Today Dr. Bidya Pant is one of the leading eye surgeons in South Asia, having performed over 130,000 surgeries in his career to date and setting a record of 312 surgeries in just one day! We are proud to work together with Dr. Pant and the teams he has built in Nepal and Myanmar, so we hope you'll join us in applauding his lifelong work to help the blind see.